Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

The average origin story behind addiction never begins in love or safety. It is usually found in childhood trauma. So I will not bore you with the details of mine. The beginning of my tale led me to a boozy life of self-victimization, perpetual anger, never evolving as a human being and orbiting rock bottom for many, many years.

As a young woman, I never laid out a blueprint for the life I hoped to lead. There was no master plan with boxes to check as I moved along. I was volatile. Making poor life choices due to habitual drinking well into my late 30’s. Such a person likes to believe they are good. They desperately want to change. However, they lack confidence and never developed the tools or knowhow to practice a well-lived life.

The winter of 2015 was one of my all-time lows. I was working as a restaurant manager and perhaps one of the most ineffective bosses you could have ever met. Lost in the throes of addiction. I was selfish, toxic, and without confidence, I lacked the social skills to build healthy relationships. I lived in a constant brain fog due to hangovers, stress and being completely in over my head. Overwhelmed by the life I was not my best self.

By the spring of 2015, I decided enough was enough. I was failing at life and it was no longer acceptable. I quit my role as a manager. Let go of the relationships that enabled my toxic habits. I took a job as a waitress and went to work. I understood it would be a hard experience. Unfortunately, I did not know just how lonely, painful and long such a transformation would be.

My pursuit of a booze-free life led me to a love of personal development. I also became obsessed with how does one improve their character flaws. Is such growth even possible for a person like me?

Along the way, I discovered Rich Roll, Dr. Gabor Mate and Ryan Holiday. All great teachers in their own field when studying addiction or how to design a good life. Rich and his podcast guests guided me throughout my journey. Dr. Mate gave me a why behind addiction. Ryan leads me to amazing books and stoicism. Both were valuable tools in forging a path in recovery.

It has been 5 years since I began my quest of life after booze. I became a lifelong student. I finally adopted the reading habit I always desired and was too hungover to begin. I have failed many times these past few years. Learned to appreciate my mistakes. I now welcome the challenges as I understand they build resilience. I still stumble, a lot. My rebound is now quicker. I lack discipline, however, I continue my pursuit of such a practice.

I have been booze-free for 19 months and currently studying to become a recovery coach. I am in the process of trading my once self-centered existence to one of service. I have accepted I can control how I respond to a situation and not to concern myself with issues outside of my control. Developing my character alongside recovery will be a life long project that is ever-evolving.